Centaur Theatre is kicking off its all-Montreal season tonight with Condoville, David Fennario's sequel to his 1979 bilingual smash Balconville. I think it's amazing that Centaur is presenting seven new shows this year, all by local playwrights. I can't imagine any other English regional theatre in Canada pulling that off.
But it's not actually that huge a huge gamble. The Centaur's top three most financially-successful plays were all by Montrealers: Balconville, Michel Tremblay's For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, and Steve Galluccio's Mambo Italiano.
My interview with Fennario is in the Post today and online gratis:
Is it possible David Fennario has mellowed with age? Discussing his new play, Condoville, which resurrects the characters from his 1979 bilingual classic, Balconville, the working-class Pointe St-Charles playwright sounds positively sanguine on the subject of the middle-class theatre-goers who will see it at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal.
"I'm addressing an audience that I think will be more sensitive to the ideas I've been promoting for the last 20 years than they have in quite a while," says Fennario, who vowed to turn Westmount mansions into co-ops when he ran for the leftist Union des Forces Progressistes in the 2003 provincial election.
But any notion that Fennario's notoriously rough edges have been smoothed by his recent battle with the debilitating Guillain-Barre syndrome is quickly dispelled.
"By the way," he segues suddenly over the phone from the Centaur, where Condoville premieres tonight, "tell your editors they're f---ing assholes ... Everything that my play is against, your paper supports.
"Don't put my picture in there -- I don't want to be seen in your f---ing newspaper," he continues through the speakerphone, making it difficult to discern to what degree he is kidding. "That good enough for you? You think I've mellowed out?"